Goji Berries

November 12, 2012

Goji Berries

Goji berries, or wolfberries, are small red berries native to China and Mongolia. They have been used traditionally in Chinese Medicine to increase lifespan. This “super-food” is considered as the next fountain of youth by many.

Composition

Goji berries are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals that are important for the normal functioning of your body. A single 40 g serving of goji berries contains about 150 calories, which are largely obtained from 32 g of total carbohydrates. The berries contain only 1 g of dietary fiber but it also contains 18 different amino acids, which account for about 5 g of protein per serving. They also contain 21 trace minerals, including zinc, copper, iron, calcium, selenium and phosphorus, and vitamins such as vitamin C and A. The berries do not contain any fat or cholesterol in them.

Goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots, and more iron than steak. They also contain 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes. They also contain a blend of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats similar to the popular olive oil. Berries can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried. They are also used in herbal teas, juices, wines, and medicines.

Benefits

Goji berries have immense health benefits.

  • The antioxidants in the fruits help prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. They also boost the functioning of the immune system, and protect your body against the harmful side effects of oxygen free radicals by preventing them from binding to the DNA and proteins of healthy cells.

  • The vitamin A in Goji berries boost the immune system and prevent aging. They also help protect your vision.

  • They may boost metal health and prevent age-related mental disorders including the Alzheimer’s disease.

  • The berries also help improve athletic performance, insomnia and mood.

  • The amino acids in Goji berries promote lean muscle development and improve muscle contractions.

Side Effects

Goji berries are generally considered safe. However, they may interfere with certain blood-thinning and anti-diabetic medications. Some of you may also be allergic to the fruits, and may experience skin rashes, hives and shortness of breath. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

Although many experts recommend including ¼ cup serving of the berries as part of your everyday meal, you should remember that the berries alone cannot solve your health problems. It is important to include healthy diet and exercise to your health plan.

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